Caerwyn, Sacha, and Siobhan travelled west to the capital of Ser’Rael, going together for entertainment and protection upon the road. They ran afoul of a checkpoint that was choked with people who were not being allowed passage, but when it seemed like their journey would be halted a man in black robes calling himself ‘the Hand’, supposedly a high ranking agent of the King, offered to allow them to bypass the checkpoint if they would assist him with a task. Having little recourse the group accepted and travelled to the deep of the Ghostwoods to retrieve a magical mirror for their mysterious benefactor.
After fighting their way through hideous swarms of insects and local monstrosities the group found their way to a ruined temple in the very center of the ominous woods, set upon a hill in a strange glade that seemed to cut a hole in the gloom of the place. The enterance was blocked by a stone slab on which was set a puzzle that had to be solved by rearranging tablets into slots, which when put in the shape of an eye caused a spring of water to come forth. Drinking the water allowed the group to enter the ancient Temple, where they encountered shortly in a Chimera beast which demanded they leave the temple. After trying to speak to the beast it attacked, but when struck was revealed to be an illusion and disappeared. They found where it stood an oddly pitted rod.
Moving further into the temple they came across a number of Orcs lead by a particularly large, but dimwitted looking warrior. After conversing Caerwyn convinced the leader to go confer with those further in the temple and the group fought the remainder, revealing most of them to be illusory. Upon the bodies of those that were not they found another pitted rod, then moved on. A side passage lead down to a locked vault which seemed to require both the rods and some form of extra key in the shape of a wedge, so the group went deeper into the temple in search of this final piece. They came upon a wall of fire blocking their path, but Caerwyn found a side passage hidden to the side by illusory magic by chance which lead the group around the obstacle and into the final room of the temple, where they found the Orc being chided by a goblin and a crow-man in red robes.
The group confronted this gathering of odd creatures, resulting in a short conversation before the crow-man dropped the key on the ground, summoned a pair of efreet creatures to fight the party, then fled with the others out a passage behind them. After defeating the summoned creatures the party retrieved the last part of the key and, seeing that the other group was so far ahead of them, went to open the locked door. Within they found a study of sorts with a number of sleeping rolls laid about, some shelves laden with old books and a desk upon which sat an ornate mirror. Caerwyn lifted the mirror and looking within was drawn into a trance, where the mirror offered him whatever he desired in exchange for his soul. Before he could respond he was drawn from the trance by Siobhan shaking him, and his memory of the event became fuzzy so as to forget the price of what the mirror offered. Having an ominous feeling about the mirror however, they wrapped it in cloth and ransacked the room, finding some treasure and a magical bag hidden away in a secret compartment of the desk which they used to carry the vast number of old books out from the temple with them.
Returning to the road they met again with the hand, who was accompanied by the strange trio they encountered in the ancient temple. He introduced them to the party as Torq the orc warrior, Desango the crow Illusionist, and Killik(?) the tinkerer. He stated that the task was in part a test as anything, and requested the group’s aid as ‘undercover’ agents to gather these important artifacts and thwart an imminent threat to the King’s life. The group, untrusting of this strange individual, agreed to assist but would not hand over the Mirror to the man. He gave to them a sigil of the Hand which allowed them passage through the checkpoint, and said they would meet again once they made it to the capital.
Once past the checkpoint the group travelled for a few days, encountering along the road as they did the site of an ambush. When investigating the campsite along the road they found some of the corpses clawed, while others stabbed with some kind of spear wound, but as they got closer the bodies rose to attack them. Once put down for good the group gathered the bodies and burned them, paying their respects as they did so. However when the pire was lit they heard the voice of a woman from seemingly nowhere asking about why they were burning the bodies, to which Siobhan calmly replied, informing her companions that the voice was the ‘Azure Lady’ and they need not be concerned.
After more travel they arrived at a trading outpost where they took a rest, socializing with the locals at the tavern. They learned of strange attacks in the region and an abandoned fort to the north from which one local in particular claimed to hear ghastly sounds. Convincing the man to show them the way, they investigated the site and found a grisly slaughterhouse. Upon a pedestal in the back they witnessed a gnoll impale a young woman with a magical spear, then engaged him and his goblin minions in combat. When the gnoll fell he transformed into a hideous black creature which pressed the party hard before being slain under an onslaught of blades, claws, and Siobhan’s magicked Shillelagh. Following the battle the group used some of the holy water taken from the ruined temple to clear runes of blood from the ground so as to remove the curse of the place, which had constructed a magical barrier around it. While doing so they encountered the enigmatic ‘jester’, who made some ominous and vague statements before disappearing shortly after Caerwyn took a potshot at him. Returning with the head of the beast and news of the slain farmers the group was hailed as heroes, given free reign to the village and the tankards before being seen off to the city in the morning.
Upon their arrival in the city they used their sigil to pass by the checkpoint at the gates and into the city proper, where they roamed around a while before finding a good tavern in which to take their rest. Inside they met Torq, with whom they shared a drink, before being approached rudely by a man in fine dress claiming to be a Viscount there to compete in the tournament, and complaining loudly about the influx of travellers to the city. Torq took this opportunity to pass out into his cups, causing his axe to slide off the bar and strike the man in the foot, which drove him into a furious tirade. With his temper rising he attacked the group verbally, and when they did not back down at his words he commanded his hired men to attack. After a battle in the tavern the men were felled and Siobhan chased the man up to his room, then out into the street as he leapt from the second story window. She and Cera caught up to him, causing him to whimper and wet himself as they began to drag him back to the bar. As they neared however a trio of armed men from the thieve’s guild claimed the man, warning Siobhan to not cross the guild before leaving with him.
After looting the Viscount’s room and using some of his gold to pay for the damages in apology to the innkeep, they were asked to leave. Torq lead the group to another Inn closer to the city walls called the Pale Shadow, which belonged to a San Saramel man and stylized in the same fashion. They found their lodgings there for the night, and that catches us up with the present.